Pro-life groups urge University of Houston to remove pro-abortion statue

(Daily Signal) – The University of Houston is facing backlash from pro-life organizations over a pro-abortion statue on campus grounds.

The university canceled the exhibit’s official…

(Daily Signal) – The University of Houston is facing backlash from pro-life organizations over a pro-abortion statue on campus grounds.

The university canceled the exhibit’s official presentation ceremony, but the pro-life groups also called for the school to remove the statue outright. The monument, a golden woman with two thick braids resembling ram’s horns, stands about 18 feet tall.

The traveling exhibit was transported from New York, where it debuted last year, to Houston, where it’s supposed to remain until Oct. 31.

Texas Right to Life is claiming credit for the event’s cancellation. After the pro-life organization urged supporters to contact the university’s chancellor, word spread. “Tens of thousands of people contacted the university to remove it,” Kimberlyn Schwartz, director of media and communication at Texas Right to Life, told The Daily Signal in an interview Friday. 

The organization successfully organized a prayer rally on Feb. 28, attended by about 450 people. 

 “The university subsequently canceled the ceremony. We’re grateful … but it’s not enough until they remove the statue,” Schwartz stated.  

“This statue was made to idolize abortion,” she said, concluding that from the artist’s own explanation. 

“The artist wrote in a document … ‘The recent focus on reproductive rights in the United States after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 decision guaranteeing the right to abortion comes to the forefront … . With [liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg’s death and the reversal of Roe, there was a setback to women’s progress,’” Schwartz quoted the statue’s designer as saying.  

The towering statue, dubbed “Witness,” was designed by Shahzia Sikander, who was initially invited to speak about it on campus at an opening ceremony for the exhibit.  

Caroline Kane, a Republican and Texas congressional candidate, posted on X about the statue. “Pray for our children and youth. They are under spiritual attack every step of the way right now,” she wrote.  

Schwartz also related the testimony of a University of Houston student who attended the statue protest: “Four months ago, I became pregnant with my first child … . One Wednesday morning, I skipped class and flew out to Colorado, pregnant and scared.” 

“Less than 24 hours later, I was back in Houston, still scared but without the most precious thing God had ever given me, my baby. Since my abortion, I have had a deep hole in my heart and soul. Now, as I walk to class, I pass by a symbol that reminds me of my deepest regret and sadness.” 
Schwartz added: “To us, this statue represents a dangerous ideology, since that leads to the subversion of justice, ignoring the vulnerable, and embracing the selfish and violent nature of humanity.” 

“This is not just some abstract debate about art. The values the co-commissioners and the artist are embracing translate into real tragedies and violence, where our most vulnerable neighbors—children in the womb—are intentionally killed in the name of ‘power’ and ‘strength,’” she said. 

“We exist to stand against the intentional killing of all innocent human life,” Schwartz said. “We believe that the university owes its students help and encouragement in a difficult pregnancy, rather than suggesting that they must choose between their children or their achievement.” 

Neither Sikander nor the University of Houston responded to requests for comment by publication time, but Sikander had previously expressed disappointment about her presentation’s cancellation to The Art Newspaper. “Art should be about discourse and not censorship. Shame on those that silence artists,” she said.